Sunday, August 31, 2008
This bicycle is a piece of crap, but it's a chick magnet. - $20 (Orlando) Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org [?]
Date: 2008-08-31, 9:54AM EDT
This is a very crappy bicycle. It's a Huffy Chesapeke beach cruiser type thing. I also have fenders for it if you'd like to dork it up a bit more. It's very fun to ride, and what it lacks in quality it more than makes up for in character. Every single woman I have talked to since I started riding this bike has had sex with me. True story. If you like shitty bikes or if you like it when girls remove their clothing upon seeing your bike, this is the bike for you.
I will throw in a different saddle, the one pictured is pretty sorry. I broke 4 spokes after getting plastered at critical mass, so that will need to be corrected as well. The tires are old and weather cracked, but seem to be working out ok for now. Finally, the chain is a little too long and unless you like having the chain fall off periodically, you'll need to remove a link.
Well here we have it! The chance of a lifetime! A bike that will not only provide hours of repairs, but also get you laid!
Come on, seriously. I sincerely hope that this is a joke, but realizing the bro-ness in his tone of typing I'm seeing that it probably isn't. Only another reason to love the Chity Beautiful and it's weekend warriors. Hopefully the film crew at last Critical Mass got an earful from this guy, it would make a great comedy piece.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
.Steve's not feeling well, so he's not coming, but GUSTAV is, and although, it'd be very Yabai to have our meeting on the top of the mountain during a hurricane, i think steve should really be there.
so TUESDAY?! (interrobang) would that work for .steve, jon beard, eric, et all?
Steel is Real
Thought you'd get a kick out of knowing all this about STEEL!
Friday, August 29, 2008
(relevance? winner get's a prize)
YABAI first meeting tomorrow night (saturday) midnightish on the top of the mountain. See past post for meeting topic possibilities.
The top of the mountain is the top of the Florida Hospital Parking Garage's Stairshaft roof. It's nice and there's a view.
Their legitimacy is killing me.
As well as bringing the sixty-fifth sign of the apocalypse...
Sorry kids, progressive companies don't have CEO's making $750,000 while workers make $12/hour.
They also don't exploit women as if they're subordinate to men.
And last, but not least a great article for your reading enjoyment:
Thursday, August 28, 2008
So thinking broadly about a location with this i had this idea:
SW Ivanhoe Blvd, under i-4, there's a little parking area there too, water and it's under a bridge and pretty easy to miss.
To make this happen, lets all start gathering up building materials (wood, scrap metal, bikes, etc.), i'm going to call up the craigslist guy who had the plastic barrels. We can maybe talk about a build day at the meeting.
Oh and if anyone wants to fuck with the links or anything, the "YABAI TIL DEAF" contributor is the "owner" of this blog and to sign in as it, the username is "email@example.com" and the password is "666yabai".
Some "aqua bike porn" for the road:
(click to enlarge)
Early information of a DELAND chapter of YABAI.
more information as it's recieved
OFLA YABAI MEETING
:Looks like Jon Beard is busy thursday and sunday, we're all mostly busy for Food not Bombs all wednesday, sunday night's and monday mornings, .steve's busy until next week with school stuff, carolyn's got nothing to constrain her time - what about a thursday? September 4th? Midnight? @ the mountain maybe? This work for anybody??
Tomorrow is Orlando's Critical Mass and we'll need to represent (i work at 6 so i prolly won't be able to get too involved, myself). In other news lets make sure we last fridays off or morning shift or something in the future.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
get dis shit rollin'
So i think we ought to really get that meeting together - I'm available pretty much everyday - i usually work around 6- until 11 or so except wednesdays - jon beard said he'd be down any day that wasn't a tuesday or sunday (correct me if i fucked that one up, eudocimus (sp?))
Some possible topics for discussion
- Meeting/group dynamic - consensus? i think we ought to go the non-heirarchical route at the very least / consensus or not we should decide how we as a group make decisions
-Colors (backpatches for gang unity) - suggested by .steve
- "mission" / group description - definining ourselves and what we do - are we to adopt a strictly anarchist group view? (i vote yes)
- black friday?
- civic activism (see flava post e.g. u-locks of love)
any other suggestions? any times people CANNOT meet?
Meeting location suggestions? someones house? black box? glory roof?
Monday, August 25, 2008
from nahbs 2007
cyclecide's bike ferris-wheel-type-thing - BIKE POWERED!
seen at Portland's "Stumptown Joustdown"
same event MINI JOUST
says it all
zoobomb century - check out that fork and front wheel!
cyclecide's "CYCLOFUGE" (click to enlarge)
another shot of CYCLOFUGE (click to enlarge) more on the 'fuge
what i was talking about last night - mini-swing bike
whaaaaaaaat?! (interrobang) nevermind that front "wheel", baggy shorts and wallet chains! YES!
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
ALL POINTS BULLETIN ON A STOLEN BIKE
My bike got stolen from Chris's house (in east orlando) around 2:00 am friday night - the 15th.
Its a fixie:
black 53cm SOMA, pake fork, yancopads black and red stripes pad, red deep-V wheels, black origin8 stem, red oury grips, black seat post, bianchi black with leopard spot seat, crappy crankset, mks sylvan track pedals, red chain, red tire in the front (continental ultra sports), black tire in the back - spoke cards: yancopads, east orlando race, burry your bones
if you see anyone on this bike stop them or call me quick - 386 383 7757 -
You'll get a huge REWARD!!
post this wide please - i’d do it for you in a heart beat
make the call if you see it around town..
Free dbags hip pack to whomever finds this!
Just got back in from RVA and NASHVEGAS and both were a total blast. all of this is another story though - in RVA i hung out with a guy from RIDERS OF THE APOCALYPSE, who aside from wacky bike shenanigans also engage in radical community action such as their U-Locks of Love action where they raised enough money to buy up a shit ton of u-locks and took them to a community center in a poorer neighborhood of Richmond.
This conversation inspired me to try to push yabai towards this - actualizing our anarchist/radical activist ethos through the bike gang as well - to put together things that benefit more than just "bike kids" i want to throw a bike party for "kids" somewhere - lets do this shit - hagamos estos!
Sunday, August 17, 2008
wonderful! O wonderful! O wonderful!
I am food! I am food! I am food!
I eat food! I eat food! I eat food!
My name never dies, never dies, never dies!
I was born first in the first of the worlds, earlier than the gods, in the belly of what has no death!
Whoever gives me away has helped me the most!
I, who am food, eat the eater of food!
I have overcome this world!
He who knows this shines like the sun.
Such are the laws of the mystery!
Amity and enmity are normally considered the affections of only animate beings high on the evolutionary scale. Not exactly true. Inanimate objects like atoms do have their own likes and dislikes. For example, the sodium atom would love to mate with a chlorine atom with a voracious appetite to form sodium chloride, known as common salt. The same sodium atom also knows how to co-exist with its own kind. Among animate beings, even bacteria, lowest on the totem pole of living creatures, display deep emotions and a sense of togetherness when needed. Among humans, we witness cooperation as well as isolation as characteristics among individuals according to the dictates of circumstances. Among lower species such as animals and insects, cooperation is widely prevalent among one’s own kind of species. Did sociality and cooperation originate with the primitive forms of life? Let us take a look at the social life of bacteria and what we can learn from that. Researchers have recently discovered that tiny worms from a particular strain of C. elegans, do not like to eat alone. When placed near food (a patch of bacteria in a gel medium) they scurry around looking for company. Worms of another strain of C. elegans clearly prefer solitude. Should we care about the social life of a tiny worm? Perhaps, yes, mainly because we may have similar genes that dictate such behaviour. The sociable worms were found to move around the food plate rapidly, not slowing down until they found some eating companions. By contrast the anti-social worms moved very slowly all the time grazing on food right from the start. When their DNAs were analysed, it appeared that the difference amounted to one codon (a triplet of nucleotides), resulting in one amino acid being different in a single protein between the two classes. What a precise division of classes!
Bacteria are so ubiquitous that they are found on mountaintops, ocean bottoms, guts of animals, hot springs and the Antarctic ice shelves. The ecosystem, on land as well as water, depends on bacterial activity. The cycling of carbon, nitrogen, and sulphur is completed by their tireless labour. When organisms die, the carbon in their tissues is not available for most other living beings. Bacteria break them down and release the nutrients to the environment. Plants rely on nitrogen from the soil for growth and to make proteins. Only the soil bacteria which coexist with the root system of plants make the gaseous nitrogen in the atmosphere available to the plant in the form of soluble nitrogen.
Bacteria (born blind, deaf and mute) communicate with each other (just like cells in our human body 'talk' to each other) through chemical signals as if they are veritable social organisms. Many of them coexist in colonies which are known as biofilms. When they do so they can protect themselves against antibiotics and become resistant to other chemicals. They know the maxim, 'United, we stand'. In a colony all the bacteria may produce byproducts not for themselves but simply to promote the welfare of the colony, i.e., to help their brethren. Adapting to maximise exposure to air and nutrient-rich medium is difficult for individual bacteria. In a colony it is a cooperative venture.In the case of Pseudomonas fluorescens, mutation allows them to make a polymer glue so that they can stick together and form a film or mat. Each bacterium incurs a cost in producing the glue which is neither useful for its own growth nor cell division but the group as a whole benefits. Here we see a selection level where they sacrifice some of their individual needs while contributing to the group. In this case, it is the fittest group that survives, and not necessarily the fittest individuals. However, this social tendency can rapidly degrade if they happen to be in an asocial environment, like a homogeneous liquid culture medium. How far do the bacteria go in promoting sociality? Some researchers think that individual bacteria would even die to keep the colony alive. It appears that if some bacterial cells are damaged by antibiotics they commit suicide so that the rest of the colony can live. By killing themselves, the damaged cells no longer burden the colony but their remnants provide needed nutrients for their kin and neighbours. However, not all the bacteria in a colony commit suicide upon confronting a massive dose of antibiotic. They shut down the cellular suicide mechanism since it does not serve any purpose if all of them die. Cells of a species called Bacillus subtilis, when faced with starvation, compact themselves and become dormant creatures called spores at which state they can stay alive for an indefinite period. It is similar to the hibernation behaviour of bears. Here again sociality is seen. When encountering starvation the cells align themselves to form multi-cellular structures. The interior cells develop into spores, which can remain dormant for hundreds of years. Here we see again a display of cooperation. Sometimes they commit cannibalism during starvation. In other words, they kill their neighbours in order to survive by utilising the remnants of the dead bacteria. Although cannibalism appears, prima facie, a destructive behaviour, it happens for the good of the species. As with cell suicide, cannibalism is ultimately beneficial for the population as a whole, since it delays or prevents sporulation for the entire population, which is only a last resort under extreme conditions.
Networking: This cooperation signifies a networking principle. What one bacterium cannot achieve individually, it will achieve in conjunction with a multitude of its kind. This concept is the forerunner for the modern network theory of information processing using multiple computers and parallel processing. Pristine bacteria mastered the art of universal information exchange.
As life forms became more complex, they became less directly dependent on each other for survival. They developed mimicry for transmitting knowledge. By observing their peer organisms they learnt how to handle emergent situations. It is not strictly cooperation but mutual learning. In the insect world, colonies of individual organisms appear to exhibit powers not displayed by individual insects. Such coordinated function has probably evolved from the colony-forming tendency of bacteria.
What can we learn from the sociality of bacteria and other forms of life on the evolutionary scale? Knowledge sharing and communication are important for survival. The behavioural dynamics of the human population indicates a connection to earlier patterns of communication and knowledge-sharing evident in every species tracing back to the earliest forms of life on this planet. However, as we noticed with some colonies of bacteria where they resort to cannibalism, we notice it among humans too but the end result is not the same. In the bacterial world it was for the survival of the group. In the human world it is for the survival of the individual. Did the 'selfless' gene mutate along the evolutionary pathway?
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Friday, August 8, 2008
In other news i'm starting to feel like a smaller frame (i.e. my pake at 53cm) is certainly way to small - doesn't even help with tricks - i'm going to play around with the gearing to see if that doesn't help with sweet wheelies and other eat shit that makes rapevan cringe.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
At first blush, fixed-gear specific Vans sound a like someone’s trying to wring a little more money out of the cool kids with the Italian frames and messenger bags. The truth is that if you’re not going to go clipless, there aren’t a lot of options for shoes that can handle the abuse of those metal toeclips. Chrome gave it a try with some slip-ons to mixed reviews, and Keds might be cheap, but the jocks will beat you up for wearing them to gym. Vans 45LX Fixed have a galvanized rubber toe cap that’s wrapped in double stitching that’s made to handle all those cool skids you’re going to be throwing down in the packed bike lanes.
Dudez!! dis is soooooooooo hella sweeet. is been sez all along dat my vans always be rippinz wen im shreddin downtown. especially in front of dem mad fly chix outside of bbq. now i can bein layin down sick long skidz on my gatorskinz without worryin that my kicks R gonna disintigrate!!$
this is hella dope stupid wicked aero fresh
who needz a stiffer sole and some sort of lace cover or velcro anywayz
Monday, August 4, 2008
about bikes too, nonetheless:
"A beautiful 700/650 frame built by Hashiguchi San, for
Murakami San of the Joto Ringyou track team in Osaka.
The tear drop shaped seat tube does not take your average
round seat pillar. A custom made tear drop shaped pillar
was custom made for this frame. Yabai!"
Sunday, August 3, 2008
I‘m sipping a scummy pint of cloudy beer in the back of a trendy dive bar turned nightclub in the heart of the city’s heroin district. In front of me stand a gang of hippiesh grunge-punk types, who crowd around each other and collectively scoff at the smoking laws by sneaking puffs of “fuck-you,” reveling in their perceived rebellion as the haggard, staggering staff look on without the slightest concern.
The “DJ” is keystroking a selection of MP3s off his MacBook, making a mix that sounds like he took a hatchet to a collection of yesteryear billboard hits, from DMX to Dolly Parton, but mashed up with a jittery techno backbeat.
“So… this is a hipster party?” I ask the girl sitting next to me. She’s wearing big dangling earrings, an American Apparel V-neck tee, non-prescription eyeglasses and an inappropriately warm wool coat.
“Yeah, just look around you, 99 percent of the people here are total hipsters!”
“Are you a hipster?”
“Fuck no,” she says, laughing back the last of her glass before she hops off to the dance floor.
Ever since the Allies bombed the Axis into submission, Western civilization has had a succession of counter-culture movements that have energetically challenged the status quo. Each successive decade of the post-war era has seen it smash social standards, riot and fight to revolutionize every aspect of music, art, government and civil society.
But after punk was plasticized and hip hop lost its impetus for social change, all of the formerly dominant streams of “counter-culture” have merged together. Now, one mutating, trans-Atlantic melting pot of styles, tastes and behavior has come to define the generally indefinable idea of the “Hipster.”
An artificial appropriation of different styles from different eras, the hipster represents the end of Western civilization – a culture lost in the superficiality of its past and unable to create any new meaning. Not only is it unsustainable, it is suicidal. While previous youth movements have challenged the dysfunction and decadence of their elders, today we have the “hipster” – a youth subculture that mirrors the doomed shallowness of mainstream society.
Take a stroll down the street in any major North American or European city and you’ll be sure to see a speckle of fashion-conscious twentysomethings hanging about and sporting a number of predictable stylistic trademarks: skinny jeans, cotton spandex leggings, fixed-gear bikes, vintage flannel, fake eyeglasses and a keffiyeh – initially sported by Jewish students and Western protesters to express solidarity with Palestinians, the keffiyeh has become a completely meaningless hipster cliché fashion accessory.
The American Apparel V-neck shirt, Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and Parliament cigarettes are symbols and icons of working or revolutionary classes that have been appropriated by hipsterdom and drained of meaning. Ten years ago, a man wearing a plain V-neck tee and drinking a Pabst would never be accused of being a trend-follower. But in 2008, such things have become shameless clichés of a class of individuals that seek to escape their own wealth and privilege by immersing themselves in the aesthetic of the working class.
This obsession with “street-cred” reaches its apex of absurdity as hipsters have recently and wholeheartedly adopted the fixed-gear bike as the only acceptable form of transportation – only to have brakes installed on a piece of machinery that is defined by its lack thereof.
Lovers of apathy and irony, hipsters are connected through a global network of blogs and shops that push forth a global vision of fashion-informed aesthetics. Loosely associated with some form of creative output, they attend art parties, take lo-fi pictures with analog cameras, ride their bikes to night clubs and sweat it up at nouveau disco-coke parties. The hipster tends to religiously blog about their daily exploits, usually while leafing through generation-defining magazines like Vice, Another Magazine and Wallpaper. This cursory and stylized lifestyle has made the hipster almost universally loathed.
“These hipster zombies… are the idols of the style pages, the darlings of viral marketers and the marks of predatory real-estate agents,” wrote Christian Lorentzen in a Time Out New York article entitled ‘Why the Hipster Must Die.’ “And they must be buried for cool to be reborn.”
With nothing to defend, uphold or even embrace, the idea of “hipsterdom” is left wide open for attack. And yet, it is this ironic lack of authenticity that has allowed hipsterdom to grow into a global phenomenon that is set to consume the very core of Western counterculture. Most critics make a point of attacking the hipster’s lack of individuality, but it is this stubborn obfuscation that distinguishes them from their predecessors, while allowing hipsterdom to easily blend in and mutate other social movements, sub-cultures and lifestyles.
Standing outside an art-party next to a neat row of locked-up fixed-gear bikes, I come across a couple girls who exemplify hipster homogeneity. I ask one of the girls if her being at an art party and wearing fake eyeglasses, leggings and a flannel shirt makes her a hipster.
“I’m not comfortable with that term,” she replies.
Her friend adds, with just a flicker of menace in her eyes, “Yeah, I don’t know, you shouldn’t use that word, it’s just…”
“No… it’s just, well… if you don’t know why then you just shouldn’t even use it.”
“Ok, so what are you girls doing tonight after this party?”
“Ummm… We’re going to the after-party.”
Gavin McInnes, one of the founders of Vice, who recently left the magazine, is considered to be one of hipsterdom’s primary architects. But, in contrast to the majority of concerned media-types, McInnes, whose “Dos and Don’ts” commentary defined the rules of hipster fashion for over a decade, is more critical of those doing the criticizing.
“I’ve always found that word [“hipster”] is used with such disdain, like it’s always used by chubby bloggers who aren’t getting laid anymore and are bored, and they’re just so mad at these young kids for going out and getting wasted and having fun and being fashionable,” he says. “I’m dubious of these hypotheses because they always smell of an agenda.”
Punks wear their tattered threads and studded leather jackets with honor, priding themselves on their innovative and cheap methods of self-expression and rebellion. B-boys and b-girls announce themselves to anyone within earshot with baggy gear and boomboxes. But it is rare, if not impossible, to find an individual who will proclaim themself a proud hipster. It’s an odd dance of self-identity – adamantly denying your existence while wearing clearly defined symbols that proclaims it.
“He’s 17 and he lives for the scene!” a girl whispers in my ear as I sneak a photo of a young kid dancing up against a wall in a dimly lit corner of the after-party. He’s got a flipped-out, do-it-yourself haircut, skin-tight jeans, leather jacket, a vintage punk tee and some popping high tops.
“Shoot me,” he demands, walking up, cigarette in mouth, striking a pose and exhaling. He hits a few different angles with a firmly unimpressed expression and then gets a bit giddy when I show him the results.
“Rad, thanks,” he says, re-focusing on the music and submerging himself back into the sweaty funk of the crowd where he resumes a jittery head bobble with a little bit of a twitch.
The dance floor at a hipster party looks like it should be surrounded by quotation marks. While punk, disco and hip hop all had immersive, intimate and energetic dance styles that liberated the dancer from his/her mental states – be it the head-spinning b-boy or violent thrashings of a live punk show – the hipster has more of a joke dance. A faux shrug shuffle that mocks the very idea of dancing or, at its best, illustrates a non-committal fear of expression typified in a weird twitch/ironic twist. The dancers are too self-aware to let themselves feel any form of liberation; they shuffle along, shrugging themselves into oblivion.
Perhaps the true motivation behind this deliberate nonchalance is an attempt to attract the attention of the ever-present party photographers, who swim through the crowd like neon sharks, flashing little blasts of phosphorescent ecstasy whenever they spot someone worth momentarily immortalizing.
Noticing a few flickers of light splash out from the club bathroom, I peep in only to find one such photographer taking part in an impromptu soft-core porno shoot. Two girls and a guy are taking off their clothes and striking poses for a set of grimy glamour shots. It’s all grins and smirks until another girl pokes her head inside and screeches, “You’re not some club kid in New York in the nineties. This shit is so hipster!” – which sparks a bit of a catfight, causing me to beat a hasty retreat.
In many ways, the lifestyle promoted by hipsterdom is highly ritualized. Many of the party-goers who are subject to the photoblogger’s snapshots no doubt crawl out of bed the next afternoon and immediately re-experience the previous night’s debauchery. Red-eyed and bleary, they sit hunched over their laptops, wading through a sea of similarity to find their own (momentarily) thrilling instant of perfected hipster-ness.
What they may or may not know is that “cool-hunters” will also be skulking the same sites, taking note of how they dress and what they consume. These marketers and party-promoters get paid to co-opt youth culture and then re-sell it back at a profit. In the end, hipsters are sold what they think they invent and are spoon-fed their pre-packaged cultural livelihood.
Hipsterdom is the first “counterculture” to be born under the advertising industry’s microscope, leaving it open to constant manipulation but also forcing its participants to continually shift their interests and affiliations. Less a subculture, the hipster is a consumer group – using their capital to purchase empty authenticity and rebellion. But the moment a trend, band, sound, style or feeling gains too much exposure, it is suddenly looked upon with disdain. Hipsters cannot afford to maintain any cultural loyalties or affiliations for fear they will lose relevance.
An amalgamation of its own history, the youth of the West are left with consuming cool rather that creating it. The cultural zeitgeists of the past have always been sparked by furious indignation and are reactionary movements. But the hipster’s self-involved and isolated maintenance does nothing to feed cultural evolution. Western civilization’s well has run dry. The only way to avoid hitting the colossus of societal failure that looms over the horizon is for the kids to abandon this vain existence and start over.
“If you don’t give a damn, we don’t give a fuck!” chants an emcee before his incitements are abruptly cut short when the power plug is pulled and the lights snapped on.
Dawn breaks and the last of the after-after-parties begin to spill into the streets. The hipsters are falling out, rubbing their eyes and scanning the surrounding landscape for the way back from which they came. Some hop on their fixed-gear bikes, some call for cabs, while a few of us hop a fence and cut through the industrial wasteland of a nearby condo development.
The half-built condos tower above us like foreboding monoliths of our yuppie futures. I take a look at one of the girls wearing a bright pink keffiyah and carrying a Polaroid camera and think, “If only we carried rocks instead of cameras, we’d look like revolutionaries.” But instead we ignore the weapons that lie at our feet – oblivious to our own impending demise.
We are a lost generation, desperately clinging to anything that feels real, but too afraid to become it ourselves. We are a defeated generation, resigned to the hypocrisy of those before us, who once sang songs of rebellion and now sell them back to us. We are the last generation, a culmination of all previous things, destroyed by the vapidity that surrounds us. The hipster represents the end of Western civilization – a culture so detached and disconnected that it has stopped giving birth to anything new.
(Cover story of Adbusters Issue #79, hitting the newsstands now.)
Friday, August 1, 2008
IT'S murder out there if you like to walk. The bike people won't repeat this. But those who enjoy hoofing it on city streets stand a good chance of experiencing a close encounter with a kamikaze rider who treats stoplights like suggestions, and pedestrians like speed bumps.
And some of you will die.
"Some guys are out for a quick buck - but you're always going to have that in New York," bike messenger Gilbert Diaz, 38, told me cheerfully after zipping along Chelsea's Ninth Avenue bike path.
"I have [hit a pedestrian]," Diaz confessed. "You can't help it!"
Each year, an average of one walker - most over age 60 - dies after being struck by a bicyclist somewhere on city streets. Last year, two died.
Plus, an alarming number of pedestrians - 500 a year, according to a bicycle-advocacy group - get struck by a bike in the city, and live. Which means more than one person a day is potential road kill for the cyclist in a hurry.
Why don't we hear about this?
Most accidents occur on choked Manhattan streets, where bicycles rule and bipeds scramble. Ever try to cross Sixth Avenue at lunchtime? It's like human pinball. You get more warning before a lightning strike.
"They own the city - at least they think they own the city," griped Larry, 70, who walked carefully on the bike path. "Even in the parks. We're always in the way!"
A spokesman for Transportation Alternatives, the bicycle-advocacy group, told me the number of pedestrian fatalities was "statistically insignificant." I started digging.
Buried deep in a 2006 city report was the news that 11 people died after being struck by bikes between 1996 and 2005. After businessman Arthur Kaye was killed by a deliveryman in 1997 - the only case that got significant press - Transportation Alternatives revealed the truth: 500 people are struck by bikes each year.
I would not recommend that anyone, particularly a cop, push a biker off his perch. But to deny the tension that exists between lawless bikers and foot lovers is a mistake.
You take your life in your hands when you use your feet.
urban velo's article
the stranger's coverage
seattle time's coverage
So in short - a regular occurance of a pissed off driver threatening - and in this case - actually hitting cyclists in the critical mass ride. In the aftermath of this, the next regular occurance - the aggressors being labeled the victims and the real longtime victims, cyclists everywhere, taking the heat for it. Dave Moulton's Bike Blog calls for Critical Mass's end. Apparently we're an embarrassment to this old framebuilder (who's made frames for such legitimate cycling events as the tour de france, the olympics and the world championship - not bicycle commuting or anything at all to do with cycling in the presence of cars) and his reputable sport.
Apparently, as some seattle news identities point out, many cyclists are against critical mass, as they see it as an impediment to smoothing relations between cyclists and drivers; I say they can have the sidewalks and the bike lanes then, they can get run off the road and throw up a peace sign or just laugh it off. Dave Moulton asserted that if critical mass continued, that someone would get killed and i think that someone he's talking about is probably a driver. Under that logic, I call for the critical mass of cars to end - too many bicyclists have been killed at the bumpers and undercarriages of automobiles in the name of their respective drivers convenience and comfort. THAT'S selfishness - hogging a lane for an hour or two isn't.
For all it's worth, more people drive here in the US than commute by bicycle, and these are the people who would otherwise feel guilty at the small bit of themselves present in the violent driver, enraged at cm, and when it comes to another passion of mine (food not bombs) the same is true. The mainstream media and by extension the average person will believe and espouse that "doing the right thing," (whether in these cases its critical mass or feeding the homeless), does more harm than good. Thus removing themselves from any guilt resulting at their apathy and non-participation. No wonder The Stranger ran that weeping "oh poor me i was just trying to get to dinner and all these CRAZY fringe-types surrounded me and assaulted me for no reason! I mean, i didn't even know i HIT TWO OF THEM and attempted to FLEE THE SCENE."
What's worse is that our new improved dumbed down sentinel ran a piece on it too, with their notoriously tough "chain gang" bicycle reporters:
So to the Sentinel, we're kind of the same thing as this event in seattle - maybe we'll fuck up your car? Who knows? Does the chain gang? Judging by their helmets and bicycle i'd say so, but who's side are they on? They obviously work for the Sentinel a newspaper notorious for leaning towards their base, protecting their profits (or negative profits) by criticizing bicycles for the plight handed to them by drivers and the car-monopoly of the roadway system.
Don't be so critical of our mass!
VIva la Velorution!